Two weeks after their fight was postponed, Jose Pedraza and Mikkel LesPierre finally get into the ring on Thursday in a junior welterweight bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The main card begins at 8 p.m. ET. Pedraza (26-3, 13 KOs) held titles at 130 and 135 pounds, and this will be his first fight since a close loss to Jose Zepeda in September. Pedraza, 31, has a lot to prove in this Top Rank showcase, as he's just 2-2 in his last four fights. His 35-year-old opponent is dangerous; LesPierre (22-1-1, 10 KOs) suffered his only defeat last year to then-WBO junior middleweight titleholder Maurice Hooker. The two were scheduled to fight on June 18, but the bout was postponed after LesPierre's manager, Jose Tavares, tested positive for COVID-19.
The Puerto Rican-born Pedraza is a -900 favorite (risk $900 to win $100) in the latest Pedraza vs. LesPierre odds, with LesPierre, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, getting +600 (risk $100 to win $600) as the underdog. Before locking in your Pedraza vs. LesPierre picks, see the Top Rank boxing predictions from SportsLine analyst Peter Kahn.
A 2019 Boxing Writers Association of America Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year nominee, Kahn is a longtime insider who has his finger on the pulse of what's going on inside and outside the ring. Kahn manages nearly 10 percent of Top Rank's fighters, and he can be seen and heard weekly as co-host of "The Fight Guys" show on FITE TV.
Not surprisingly, Kahn is uncanny when it comes to picking fights. He is 7-0 on SportsLine boxing picks since the hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, extending his highly profitable run.
Last year, for example, Kahn called Deontay Wilder knocking out Dominic Breazeale in the first round, a massive 22-1 long shot bet. "Based on everything Wilder has expressed leading up to the fight and his true dislike and beef with Breazeale, expect Wilder to come out and try to get rid of him early to make a statement," Kahn told readers. The result: Wilder ended it at the 2:17 mark with a violent one-punch knockout, and everyone who followed Kahn's advice cashed huge.
Pedraza vs. LesPierre as well as the undercard bout between Albert Bell and Mark Bernaldez, identified the best value in the boxing odds and released his picks for both fights
Now, with Thursday's Top Rank boxing card fast approaching, Kahn has carefully studied Pedraza vs. LesPierre as well as the undercard bout between Albert Bell and Mark Bernaldez, identified the best value in the boxing odds and released his picks for both fights. Head to SportsLine to see all of his boxing picks.
Pedraza vs. LesPierre preview
Prior to the postponement, Kahn called LesPierre's lone defeat "a respectable decision loss" and said his southpaw style "can give Pedraza some trouble." He added that "while Pedraza has faced the far better opposition, such as Vasylliy Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis, the question is whether Pedraza still can compete at this level and how much the loss to [Jose] Zepeda took out of him."
In addition Pedraza's last win -- over Antonio Lozada in May 2019 -- did not come easy. But Kahn also noted Pedraza is a seasoned pro who has rightfully earned the nickname The Sniper. You can see Kahn's Pedraza vs. LesPierre picks here.
Best Top Rank card predictions for July 2
One of Kahn's Top Rank card predictions for Thursday: He is backing Bell (-1400) over Bernaldez (+800) in a 10-round junior lightweight bout.
"The only shot that Bernaldez has of defeating Bell is if he somehow lands the perfect knockout punch, which seems highly unlikely, simply because of the position he would need to be in to land it effectively," Kahn tells SportsLine.
How to make Pedraza vs. LesPierre picks
Kahn also has released a very confident pick on Pedraza vs. LesPierre, including an exact prediction on how long the fight lasts. You can see those boxing picks at SportsLine.
Who wins LesPierre vs. Pedraza? And exactly how long does the fight last? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks for Pedraza vs. LesPierre, all from the accomplished boxing expert who is 7-0 since boxing resumed and called Deontay Wilder knocking out Dominic Breazeale in the first round at 22-1, and find out.